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Mulligan shows his class | Reserves Round 10

Monday, June 10, 2024 - 11:59 AM

By Ken Casellas

Versatility is an important ingredient in a footballer’s make-up, and Claremont’s Dylan Mulligan gave a splendid example of his skill and provided a highlight of the reserves match against East Perth at Leederville Oval on Sunday when he gathered the ball close to the boundary at left half-forward early in the second quarter.

With no options ahead of him, he cleverly kicked the ball on the outside of his right boot into the corridor where Menno Inverarity took the mark and quickly handpassed to Sam van Rooyen, who booted his second and his side’s fourth goal.

Mulligan also was involved in an excellent passage if play in the first quarter when Tristan Ballard burst out of defence and sent a flying 65-metre torpedo punt downfield where Mulligan gained possession and his long shot brought up Claremont’s second goal.

Mulligan, a rangy 196cm player, lined up at centre-half-forward, and with Max Rohr being rested by the State 18’s coaches, he provided valuable support in the ruck for West Love.

And that’s not all. Mulligan set a tremendous example with his fearless pressure on his opponents, with five tackles in the opening term. He finished the match with ten tackles, and he sent the ball inside his side’s 50m attacking zone four times.

It was largely due to Claremont’s pressure that the side raced to an early lead, scoring 3.2 while holding East Perth scoreless. A great contested defensive mark by centre-half-back Jasper Peace was a highlight of the first quarter, along with wingman Joe Matthews’s dash down the left flank ending with a goal from long range.

In the first quarter the Tigers applied 28 tackles to East Perth’s 13, and the visitors dominated the second quarter to hold a 39-point lead at half-time, 8.4 to 2.1. At the 22-minute mark Lawrence Evans gained possession 75m from goal on the left wing.

There were no players ahead of him, but he didn’t lose his cool. He circled and then a clever kick forward enabled the busy Menno Inverarity to score a goal.

Quite remarkably, Claremont faltered in the third term when the side’s work rate and intensity dropped off, and the East Perth players began to consistently outmark their rivals. The Royals clogged up the play, and in a most forgettable quarter East Perth managed just one goal while the Tigers managed only three behinds.

The Claremont players regained their composure in the final term and the side recorded a fine 36-point victory to remain the only unbeaten side in the competition with eight wins from eight matches.

Inverarity, Ashton Bryant and Bailey Banfield were outstanding midfielders, while Matthews and Sam Gilbey excelled on the wings and Kai Dehavilland, on a half-forward flank and in the midfield, maintained his wonderful form, finishing with 19 disposals, six tackles, three clearances and five inside 50s.

Inverarity finished with eight marks, 21 kicks, seven effective handpasses, nine tackles, seven inside 50s and six clearances. Bryant had 11 kicks, seven effective handpasses, nine clearances

(seven in the first half), three inside 50s and three tackles. Banfield had ten kicks, three effective handpasses, five clearances, seven tackles and three inside 50s.

Love weighed in with another solid display in the ruck and his three goals took his tally to nine in the past five reserves matches.

Claremont’s defensive unit worked well, with Ballard and Eric Benning leading the way.


Claremont 11.9 (75)) beat East Perth 6.3 (39)

Scorers---CLAREMONT: W. Love 3.0; J. Matthews, S. van Rooyen 2.1; M. Inverarity 2.0; R. Disisto, D. Mulligan 1.1; A. Bryant, K. Dehavilland 0.1; 3pts forced. EAST PERTH: J. Harris 2.1; K. Lines 2.0; T. Amos, N. Bonomelli 1.0; T. Lindberg, R. Williams-Jolley 0.1.

Best---CLAREMONT: M. Inverarity, D. Mulligan, A. Bryant, K. Dehavilland, J. Matthews, T. Ballard, E. Benning. EAST PERTH: D. Miller, T. North, P. Reilly, T. Hallett, T. Lindberg, K. Lines, B. Fullgrabe.